Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program
Lake County water quality is monitored under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (IRLP). Most Lake County growers have joined the IRLP Coalition that is managed by the Lake County Farm Bureau.
The Coalition works with members to help them comply with IRLP requirements. The Coalition completes mandatory management and monitoring plans, contracts for water quality monitoring and submits reports to the State. This program is 100% grower funded. A suite of parameters are used for water quality monitoring. Results in excess of state set parameters result in extra monitoring, point-source determination, grower outreach and may trigger a management plan. Since the start of the program in 2005, Lake County has never had management plan triggered for agricultural-specific parameters.
Many factors help Lake County growers with this program.
- Lake County’s climate is beneficial to pest control with its high elevation, cold winters, hot dry summers and short growing seasons.
- Pears, winegrapes and walnuts have significantly less pest problems than in surrounding regions.
- Low land-use pressure over entire watershed
- Downward trend in organo-phosphate use over the last 20 years due in part to management practices and use of Integrated Pest Management practices
- Robust regulatory program
Facts and figures - Lake County covers 849,766 acres total, This includes public lands, private lands, water bodies, municipalities and ag lands. Lake County farm land covers 14,280 acres and our largest body of water, Clear Lake covers 44,000 acres when full.
The Program - The ILRP is responsible for regulating ALL discharges (real or potential) off irrigated agricultural lands. Farmers pay for the program through acreage, state and administration fees.These fees pay for the following mandatory regulatory elements that all farmers must comply with:
- Grower Farm Evaluations – identifying practices on farm
- Nitrogen Management – managing groundwater quality
- Surface Water Quality Monitoring – monitoring discharges
- Sediment Erosion and Control – preventing discharges
- Outreach Meetings – Grower Education
- Groundwater Assessment Reports/CV SALTS/RUSLE Model – research
- Inspections – confirming program compliance
- Abatement Orders – addressing issues on an individual scale
- Water Quality Management Plans – addressing issues on watershed scale
Read more - visit Lake County Farm Bureau